starseerdrgn: Scuba pegacorn (Default)

Social media annoys me these days.

It's not the social justice zealots. It's not the political nature of damn-near everything that the people I follow retweet. It's not even the silicone stupidity of those in the tech industry tweeting about things that they have no knowledge of.

It's the fact that social media feels more like a chore and addiction.

  • I don't have fun with Twitter, and I've completely left Facebook.
  • *diaspora and GNU Social are rather politically charged, and there's rarely anything interesting on them for my tastes.
  • reddit has become the next digg, with people who simply want to cause hell for everyone else. It's not a fun site.
  • GitHub has gone from "location for code" to "let's make coding social!" The problem is that the attitudes of people on the site make me uncomfortable even looking at it these days, and that makes it more of a chore.

The social web just feels like it's too much now. I miss the smaller communities of the forums I used to go to, and of sites like Hatena Haiku! (which is sadly discontinued due to spammers) and FriendFeed (Gone due to being acquired by Facebook). Even Google Buzz! and Yahoo! 360 didn't feel this bad.

Perhaps it's the communities in question, but I believe it's also one other piece that most of the sites share: the forced socialization aspect.

  • Twitter constantly bugs you about following others and seeing tweets you don't necessarily care about.
  • Twitter's "Quote Retweets" can't be turned off, therefore giving people the ability to bombard their followers without having to worry about the "Turn Off Retweets" option that people have had for a while.
  • Facebook constantly has a "People You May Know" area to try that you can't always dismiss.
  • GitHub has effectively turned git commits and issue reporting into a social activity with their profile feeds.
  • reddit is all about "anonymous socialization" with the news.

I don't know for sure, though. Maybe I'm just becoming more introverted. That's always been a possibility…

starseerdrgn: Scuba pegacorn (Default)

Every time I turn around, I see someone in the tech industry say that developers "shouldn't even try to handle passwords themselves", and to rely on things like Google SSO, Facebook Connect, and Login with Twitter. Sadly, that's insecure as well. In fact, they're as bad as using nothing but email to authenticate someone.

More below... )

starseerdrgn: Scuba pegacorn (Default)

First of all, I plan on going through my Dreamwidth journal within the next few days and properly tagging most—if not all—of my past journal entries. I've needed to do this for a while, but never had time.

Second, on the subject of social networks. I still use Twitter as [personal profile] starseerdrgn (as well as a hidden private account), but just barely. I don't use Facebook anymore, rarely use Quora or Diaspora (which I still like), only glance through GitHub.

I keep to myself most days, as I'm often too tired to do much aside from writing and design/programming.

Instead, I plan on writing more entries in my DW journal (which I'm now mirroring on GitHub for the sake of redundancy. I can write entires over the course of a day, rather than plopping down random thoughts as they come. Fewer distractions can be a good thing, and the social web already scares me.

I also have my [Arcegaō microblog], which is what I'm using to help me work on my conlang, Arcegaō.

Finally, I'm working on a refresh of my personal website, PrismDragon.Net (PDN). Yes, I'm well aware that there's no HTTPS, that's due to the hosting provider and hosting package, which may be getting changed before too long. One of my mates, Calyo Delphi, controls the hosting (I control the domain), so I'll be waiting for him to make such a decision.

I'll likely stick to simple HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, since everything I need is in those three languages. I'll need a database for my Arcegaō Dictionary , and for my eventual personal microblogs (English, and Arcegaō), so those may have to wait, since I won't know whether to use MySQL, MongoDB, or something else.

I'll likely go ahead and make my dictionary out of something, but I don't know what yet.

Visual Basic .NET books


starseerdrgn: Scuba pegacorn (Default)

I had not even thought to mention this last night, as turning off comments was the very last thing I had done before bed.

Now, I understand people enjoy leaving comments, and I'm actually happy when I see people leaving polite those very rare instances. The problem is, this is the internet. It's an open platform (and should stay that way), allowing people to express themselves freely. However, that freedom is abused quite heavily in this day and age.

I've seen so many online lynch mobs at this point that it scares me, and on more than a couple of occasions, I've been subjected to them thanks to sites like Reddit and HackerNews. People took what I said, twisted the words in their mind, and launched attacks so quickly that I couldn't reply in time.

It's not a good feeling to be attacked like that. In fact, many people have had their lives outright ruined by the actions of these lynch mobs, especially on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Reddit, and HackerNews (though the latter is a little better behaved than the others).

Spam is also something I don't want to deal with. Social Networks and blog comment systems have far too much spam now, especially with how open everything is. I've seen an entire social network, the English version of Hatena Haiku, so riddled with phishing and advertising links that no one could hold a conversation. It's a mess, and something all of us need to start paying attention to, by denying them the ability to post.

My blog is mine, and while I can't control what happens outside of it, I can control what happens within it. I don't like leaving myself open to the hateful masses, so I subscribe to the idea that, if someone wants to leave a comment, they can email me, and I can deal with it in private. Twitter is fine as well in some cases, but as rarely as I use it, it may take some time to get back to people.

This eliminates two very big annoyances for me: spam, and lynch mobs (on my own site). My time is limited each day. I want to work, not deal with annoyances. I'll gladly deal with polite emails containing comments, though. Those are something to cherish.

starseerdrgn: Scuba pegacorn (Default)

So, I came across IndieWebCamp not too long ago, and really liked what their message was: take back your online identity. Then, I found their Web Sign-In authorization system, and everything kind of fell apart for me.

When your sign-in system requires the use of the very sites you're encouraging people to leave, you have a problem with hypocrisy. When you put down a log-in system that the user can provide from their own server (OpenID) as "too hard", you have a problem with laziness. Authentication isn't supposed to be easy. Otherwise, you run into what Twitter users see every time they run into one of the meme services: an OAuth application that hijacks their identity by continuing to use the permissions given to them without alerting the user.

Of course, open services have major issues with taking off as well. Mozilla Persona is being shut down, and OpenID is now using OAuth 2 (which I stills don't trust thanks to all of the hell I've been through). I don't see why people can't promote decentralized authentication, especially when centralized authentication is one giant target for hackers.

Yes, I'm going there.

If you throw everything behind Google Single Sign-On, Firefox Accounts (Persona Replacement), Facebook Connect, etc..., you have your identity for everything in a single place. This is a black-hat hacker's best case scenario, allowing them to effectively control everything connected to that user's account with little effort. It becomes trivial once they get in.

I myself was a victim of such an attack, with the hacker bypassing my second factor of authentication on Google (I had two factor auth enabled with my phone). I lost access to my email, IM service, Twitter account, Facebook account, Steam account...Effectively everything in my online life. It wasn't fun, and I learned my lesson from that incident.

I honestly wish OpenID would take off again. I want to see someone beat Twitter, Facebook, and Google at authentication, especially with two-factor. I think a decentralized Persona-based solution might be the best bet (seriously, it's dead simple to use), but in a world where developers rely on a cloud service to set and store avatars (Gravatar), everyone is just too lazy or don't care about such problems, and it's depressing.

This is the open web. Why can't we help make it more open?

starseerdrgn: Scuba pegacorn (Default)

I do not talk of this subject very often, but I believe it should be mentioned.

In this age of social media, many people tend to make very quick reactions to anything that is said, done, or created. This includes creations which are hyped by its fanbase, and fanbases which cause issues with those outside of its community.

For example, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. Members of that community managed to force the show on people so much that many began to hate the show and everything surrounding it, even without seeing it. Another that is similar to this is Five Nights at Freddy's, which to some extent, I am guilty of due to just how much the story inspired me. In fact, here is a short list of some subjects in which I have seen or experienced this issue crop up:

  • My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic
  • Five Nights at Freddy's
  • Steven Universe
  • Normal Show
  • Spongebob Squarepants
  • Undertale
  • Earthbound/Mother series
  • Homestuck
  • Pokémon
  • Digimon
  • Team Fortress 2
  • Portal
  • Half-Life
  • South Park
  • Family Guy
  • King of the Hill
  • Linux
  • Macs and iDevices
  • Android
  • Japanese Anime
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender (TV Show)
  • Legend of Korra

This is only a short list, mind you, and only subjects which I myself have either experienced backlash over, or have seen others experience backlash from.

With that said, it seems like the current age punishes anyone who has passion or inspiration regarding some of these topics. Typically, it is punishment from people who have been pushed by those who force that passion on others, but it happens with anything that has gathered a strong following where the fans can become rabid.

I do have a reason for saying all of this, though. When I encounter something which has inspired me, or which I enjoy, I like to talk about it. However, if I try to bring up something which has already been ruined for someone, I become the focus of the very backlash I mentioned above.

It hurts because, unlike many people, it is excessively difficult for me to talk with people. I never now what will set people off, so I tend to just stay quiet. As I even commented to my master Achiga during the night, I often consider just locking myself away in my bedroom and shutting out society and socialization as a whole.

For me, it causes my mind to say, "You should feel guilty for liking this, because it has hurt someone you care about." This happens with everything for me, to the point that even being in a good mood when my mates are down or depressed causes me to feel guilty for being happy, and when they are in a good mood while my own mood is poor, I feel guilty for not being as cheerful as they are. Or having new things which I may be proud of…If I wind up annoying someone because I mention it, I feel guilty for being happy about that.

I do not know what this is called…Social anxiety? I am not in an abusive relationship, as my mates are very loving. This is all me, and I simply do not know what can be done about it. I cannot take any sort of psychoactive medication (I am medically barred from doing so), and if I were to so much as ask about any sort of alternative medicine online, the backlash would be swift and humiliating.

To use the spoon theory, I feel as if I have used a year's worth of spoons in the last few months alone. I have not truly enjoyed much of what I do, and when I do enjoy something, it simply drops into the guilt bucket shortly afterward. For example, enjoying my story writing, only to feel guilty that I was not doing dishes or writing down notes; or watching something to relax, only to feel guilty that I was not doing something more productive; or sleeping when I know I should be working on my story universe or notes. Yes…I will admit that I feel guilty about sleeping.

This is what I have been coping with for quite a while. I do not say much about it, as talking about it with others does not help at all. In fact, it triggers the guilty feelings, as I feel I am drawing down the mood by bringing it up. But yes…This is what I cope with. Maybe someone will have some information about it, but as of right now, this is all I know about my issue.

September 2017

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